Research Assistant I

Updated: 7 months ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!


Harvard Medical School


Position Description

We currently have an opening for a Research Technician in the lab of Dr. Stephen Liberles at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Liberles’ lab studies sensory neuroscience of the vagus nerve - a major communication axis between the brain and body that helps monitor the physiological state of internal organs. Through genetic and molecular approaches, they look to investigate how the vagus nerve detects stretch of the stomach and airways, changes in blood pressure, nutrients, and damage from toxins and pathogens – which is all information that the brain uses to generate perceptions of hunger and nausea, as well as to regulate vital functions like breathing and heart rate. More information on the work of the lab can be found on their website.

We are targeting curious, self-driven candidates who are passionate about basic scientific research. The successful candidate will perform independent research under the mentorship of a senior lab member, and this position will provide state-of-the-art research experience in sensory neuroscience, with the goal of providing preparatory training for graduate school. Prior research technicians from the lab have been co-authors on major scientific publications, and gained acceptance to graduate and/or medical programs at top institutions.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Work efficiently and cooperatively to assist Postdocs, Graduate Students, and other lab members with experiments.
  • Perform experiments in sensory neuroscience using state-of-the-art approaches, such as optogenetics, neuronal mapping, imaging, behavioral analysis, mouse genetics, histochemistry, and measurements of autonomic physiology.
  • Participate in laboratory meetings and read literature applicable to the research area.
  • Help with lab organization, including accurate documentation and recording/maintenance of large data files.
  • Assist with other support duties relating to lab management and operations as required.

Basic Qualifications

  • College background and 1+ years of relevant experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology or related discipline preferred.
  • A passion for neuroscience is strongly preferred.
  • Prior experience working in a research lab and comfort studying mouse behavior.
  • Self-motivated and able to perform complex tasks effectively and independently with general instruction.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member while engaged in collaborative studies.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Exemplary organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to follow instruction with an eagerness to learn, grow professionally, and be mentored.
  • Actively seeks opportunities to increase skills and expertise.

Additional Information

This is a one-year term position from the date of hire, with the possibility of extension, contingent upon work performance and continued funding to support the position. 

This is an in-person position based on our campus in Boston.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Please note that we are currently conducting a majority of interviews and onboarding remotely and virtually. We appreciate your understanding.

The Harvard Medical School is not able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

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We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Boston

Job Code

403108 Research Assistant I Lab


55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening



40 hrs. per week | Monday - Friday | 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

We are committed to cultivating an inclusive workplace culture of faculty, staff, and students with diverse backgrounds, styles, abilities, and motivations. We appreciate and leverage the capabilities, insights, and ideas of all individuals. Harvard Medical School Mission and Community Values

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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